Early promotional poster of the film
|Directed by||K. S. Ravikumar|
|Written by||S. Ramakrishnan|
|Screenplay by||K. S. Ravikumar|
|Music by||A. R. Rahman|
Rana is an upcoming historical action film co-written and directed by K. S. Ravikumar starring Rajinikanth, whose story the film will be based upon. Deepika Padukone has been signed on as the female lead. The film will be jointly produced by Ocher Picture Productions and Eros International. The film will feature cinematography by R. Rathnavelu and music composed by A. R. Rahman. The film is expected to be made simultaneously in Telugu, both of which are slated for release in 2012.
Despite the occurrence of principal photography, which took place on 29 April 2011, casting is still incomplete. During the first schedule of filming, Rajinikanth fell ill on sets and was admitted to hospital for over a month, resulting in an indefinite postponement of filming. Further attempts for the film to continue production throughout the year failed. Following the announcement of Kochadaiyaan in November 2011, another Rajinikanth-starrer to be directed by Soundarya Rajinikanth and written by Ravikumar, Rana was shelved until the completion of the former.
During late-2010, reports suggested that Rana would be the new title of Soundarya Rajnikanth's self-produced, directed, and designed film Dheera, an animation film that began production in 2007, featuring her father Rajnikanth in the title role. It was also reported that K. S. Ravikumar was signed up as co-director to direct "non-animated" scenes of the film, in which Rajinikanth would pair up with Trisha Krishnan. The reports were later falsified as several websites on January 28, 2011 claimed that Rana was a separate project, jointly produced by Eros International and Soundarya's Ocher Picture Productions. Confusions of Rana being the "revival" of Hara were cleared as both Ocher and Eros denied the claims, stating that Rana was "a fresh script" and will be shot as live action while Hara was still under production, likely to be released after the former.
After several dates for principal photography to begin were reported, ranging between March and April 2011, it finally began on 29 April 2011 at AVM Studios in Chennai. However, in a turn of events, Rajinikanth became ill and was treated for dehydration and exhaustion at a hospital, after being diagnosed with a mild foodborne illness, resulting in postponment of filming. Following this, Rajinikanth went through subsequent hospital visits, afterwhich he was eventually obliged to be admitted for treating an undisclosed form of nephropathy, extensively delaying the commencement of Rana. Upon Rajinikanth's return from treatment, he was advised to not begin working for a few more months, making all attempts of starting Rana again unsuccessful. Nonetheless, Deepika Padukone had already shot for some scenes in the film, including one in muddy water.
The film was dubbed as a "Rajinikanth-starrer" when it was first announced, adding that Rajinikanth would feature in three different roles in the film. Before the film's official announcement, Trisha Krishnan was reported to be signed up for a lead role, but this was eventually learnt to be false. Later reports stated that Anushka Shetty, Deepika Padukone, Asin, and Sneha were approached for lead roles. The role eventually went to Padukone who signed up in February 2011. Sonu Sood was signed to play the film's antagonist. Later that month, Madhuri Dixit was linked to the project, whom media reports claimed was offered a supporting role, which she later refused citing personal commitments and differences with the role she was offered. Several media reports subsequently emerged, stating that Bollywood actresses Rekha and Vidya Balan were slated to be part of the leading cast. The following month, however, it was reported that Rekha walked out of the project during its pre-production stage after a dispute with the producers about her salary. Balan was also reported to have dropped out of the film after an untimely request to fully view the film's script was turned down. In the meantime, Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini were reported to have been signed up for important roles, marking the former's Tamil cinema debut. All reports, however, were finally downplayed by K. S. Ravikumar, stating that no other actor had been signed up, other than Rajinikanth and Padukone, as of March 2011. Ganja Karuppu was signed up the following month as the film's comedian, after the possibility of Vadivelu was turned down due to his controversial motifs during the 2011 legislative assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
R. Rathnavelu was specially chosen by Rajinikanth as the film's cinematographer, after the two worked together in their prior successful venture Enthiran (2010). Rajeevan was signed up as art director. Anthony and A. R. Rahman, who were also part of the Enthiran team, were signed up as the film's editor and composer, respectively. S. Ramakrishnan was signed up as the film's dialogue writer.
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